Louisville Football: Players Crucial to Win for Cardinals vs. USF

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals throws the ball prior to the game against the Florida International Golden Panthers on September 22, 2012 at FIU Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Louisville's game against South Florida this Sunday has all the makings of a demolition.

The Cardinals, ranked 16th in the BCS, are undefeated while the Bulls have lost their last four games en route to a 2-4 record.

However, this could also be the perfect opportunity for USF to pull off the upset.

Louisville have yet to beat a ranked opponent, and close wins over North Carolina, Southern Miss and Florida International suggest there are some chinks in the armor.

In addition, the Cardinals have their biggest game of the season, at home to undefeated Cincinnati, next week.

College football fans have seen numerous occasions where a far superior team will look past a minnow, only for the minnow to pull off the upset.

If Louisville is to corral the Bulls, it will be because of these three players.


Teddy Bridgewater

Louisville have produced quite a few good college quarterbacks. There was the great Johnny Unitas in the 1950s and more recently Dave Ragone, Stefan LeFors and Brian Brohm.

Teddy Bridgewater looks to be continuing the great tradition. While his numbers (1,438 yards, 9 TDs) don't jump off the page, he has done a good job of leading the offense.

He has performed much better at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium as well. His completion percentage is over 20 points higher, his quarterback rating is almost 50 points higher and he has yet to throw an interception.

Look for Bridgewater to continue his good play at home against a pass defense that ranks 48th in the nation.


Senorise Perry

Perry and Jeremy Wright make up a good combination of speed and power. Together they've rushed for 1,009 yards and 15 touchdowns.

While Wright might have been the starter at the beginning of the season, Perry has doubt eclipsed him. He leads Wright in every major rushing category.

It was Perry's performance last week against Pitt that got him major notoriety. His 101 yards and four touchdowns got him named Big East Offensive Player of the Week. The numbers are even more impressive when you consider he only carried the ball 12 times.

Perry's big-play ability make him the one to watch in the Cardinals' backfield.


Adrian Bushell

It's hard to pick out an outstanding defensive player for the Cardinals, but they've only given up 331.2 yards per game, 24th in the nation.

Part of that defensive solidity has been down to Bushell. His 21 solo tackles and 32 total tackles are both second on the team. And despite having failed to record an interception, he has been very good in pass coverage.

He earned the Big East Defensive Player of the Week award after the Cardinals won in Week 4 against FIU.

Bushell also returns kicks, averaging a little over 25 yards a return. A big return from him can set the offense up in great shape